Caribou Gear

measuring tracks

Casey Richardson

New member
Mar 18, 2002
Missoula, Mt/Wollaston Lake Saskatchewan
Anybody ever hear of methods of telling how big a bear is by his front pad. I haven't been keeping good track on the bears we have taken but going to this year. Duncan Gilchrist, who has shot his fair share of bears, claims you measure across the front pad, add 1 1/2 and you the size of the bear. So if he is 5 inches across the front pad he should be a 6 1/2 footer and 4 inch pad would be a 5 1/2 footer ....etc. Dustin said we had a bear hit the Blue Rock bait that was gigundous. They didn't have a tape measure but laying a dollar bill inside the pad mark left a half inch or so on each side. A dollar bill is 6 inches soooooo we are talking a bear, according to Dunc's theory, that would go near 8 feet? I'll believe it when I see it, I know one of my guides who has been in the area for 10 years claims to have seen bear over 600 lbs in the fall. I know they get some big coastal blackies like that, but from what I have seen the bears in our area grow bigger round and big mellons rather than length. If anyone has heard of any theories shoot them out here. I always like the dead theory, where you put a tape measure on them. Happy hunting, Casey

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 05-23-2002 12:50: Message edited by: Casey Richardson ]</font>
What about hanging some great bait high in a tree and see if that giant can reach it?

What about baiting with Canadian whiskey so the bear lays down drunk and waits for you to show up and measure it?

Maybe vodka would be better since it doesn't smell?
Casey your freind it right. Utah has a manditory orientation class for bear hunting. They have a nice little flyer that shows by centimeter how big in pounds the bear will be. It does give a range but I think that's what your looking for.

Do you have a fax?

P.S. Did you get my check?
Tell ya what Casey since I'm a most generous person I'll shoot that bear in a couple weeks. Then we can measure everything and see if you "dead theory" is going to pan out. Yup I know that's awful big of me and I wouldn't just do this for anyone, but since your a friend....
I've heard more than one theories on judging the size vs print. The most accurate is by addin 1 that we found. My wife deals with alot of bears and she swears by it. Who's right, I dont know. I've heard to add 1, then I heard to add 2, so 1 1/2 isnt bad, It will get you in the ball park atleast.
I'm not bear expert.. but I believe the method should only be 1". It can go either way slightly more or less, but it's very close from what I've seen.

I'd say if your bear has a 5" track, it will square very near 6 ft (hide off, but unstreched). 6" tracks are big bears I think. I've never seen a bear, but have seen the tracks. I've taken a lot of 5.5' bears, all of which had 4.5" pads. I shot a bear that squares just under 7', his pads were 5.5"

I'd say anyting 5" or bigger on the track is worth a look. 6" is worth busting your butt for to see what left it. I've been taunted 3 years in a row now by a bear leaving 6" tracks. Bryan and I first saw the track in 2000 after I already took a bear. Last year I was on his track for a day and lost him in an open sage flat, this year a similar deal.. Maybe next year. I'm assuming it's the same bear as the tracks are withing a 5 mile area and I doubt there are many black bears running around here with that big of feet anyway.
Leupold BX-4 Rangefinding Binoculars

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